Country music’s Dolly Parton ‘tickled pink’ about Welsh roots

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The 9-5 singer has traced her ancestry to the Welsh valleys for a TV programme

Dolly Parton says she is “tickled pink” about the curiosity surrounding her Welsh roots.

The country music star traced her ancestry to the Welsh valleys for a TV programme.

In a short clip, played on Radio 4’s Today Programme, Parton said she said couldn’t “give away all the secrets yet”.

She added that “all the juicy details” will come out when her documentaries air later this year.

Parton, who was born in Tennessee, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Singer Jada Star, Parton’s niece, said the family believes Parton’s mother may have been born in Conwy.

“The Owen’s part of the family, Parton’s mother, they believe they came from Wales.

“Not Tenby, I never said Tenby and I’m not sure how that happened but it’s Conwy,” she said.

Jada said it was “a lot of fun” to discover her Welsh roots and she and Parton are excited to share what they’ve learned.

“Getting to find out that side of our family is really extraordinary, especially with all the things we’re finding out about our connections with music, and how that’s always been with us, that’s really wonderful,” she said.

Jada hinted that some of Parton’s music, and her own, may have been inspired by her Welsh roots.

“I think for a lot of music, but especially music which comes from the Appalachians, from east Tennessee where we came from, but that’s because that’s where those people settled.

Dolly Parton’s mum may have been born in Wales

“I feel that it’s definitely the skill of being able to hear a story told to you and then relay that story to others in a way that’s memorable – and so that story can live on forever.

“That’s what so much Welsh music is, stories that have been passed down for centuries.”

Jada also mentioned that she is currently learning Welsh and hopes to put it to use when she visits the country.

“I’m trying my best. I’ve got that little owl on Duolingo working double time for me.

“I can do some different morning greetings, some afternoon greetings.

“I’m trying not to butcher it, and when I get there I hope that everyone can help me too.”

It’s not the first time the Jolene and I Will Always Love You singer has been linked to Wales.

In 2008, during a concert at the Cardiff International Arena, the superstar reportedly told fans in the crowd that she had Welsh ancestry.

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